A St. Paul charter school that has used hip-hop to engage students who have struggled elsewhere has won a $100,000 grant from the Bush Foundation.
The High School for Recording Arts is among 16 organizations selected by the foundation to be part of a "Community Creativity Cohort" that will help inform the Bush Foundation's future endeavors in the arts.
"By working closely with the Community Creativity Cohort, we hope to increase our understanding of (the challenges they face) and thereby strengthen our future efforts to support work that meaningfully engages people in the arts and integrates arts into public life," the foundation said.
The charter school has worked with State Farm Insurance Co., a sponsor, on public service campaigns that include Click 4 Life, which encouraged seat belt use, and 26 Seconds, which set out to reduce high school dropout rates. Every 26 seconds, a high school student quits school, according to the campaign, for which High School for Recording Arts students contributed a song, "Take Control."
"We take being a part of the Bush Foundation Community Creativity Cohort very seriously," Tony Simmons, the school's executive director, said in a news release. "We will continue to work with our students and partners in providing a true 21st century education for our students while making the world a better place by using their public art to positively transform our community and the world."
The cohort project runs six to nine months, and will require its 16 participants to write monthly reflections on the progress of their work, the foundation's website states.
Other grant recipients include the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI), Center for Hmong Arts and Talent (CHAT), the Children's Theatre Company, Lanesboro Arts and the Matthews Opera House & Arts Center.